BIOMACROMOLECULES, cilt.13, ss.2680-2691, 2012 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The generation and fabrication of nanoscopic structures are of critical technological importance for future implementations in areas such as nanodevices and nanotechnology, biosensing, bioimaging, cancer targeting, and drug delivery. Applications of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in biological fields have been impeded by the incapability of their visualization using conventional methods. Therefore, fluorescence labeling of CNTs with various probes under physiological conditions has become a significant issue for their utilization in biological processes. Herein, we demonstrate a facile and additional fluorophore-free approach for cancer cell-imaging and diagnosis by combining multiwalled CNTs with a well-known conjugated polymer, namely, poly(p-phenylene) (PP). In this approach, PP decorated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was noncovalently (pi-pi stacking) linked to acid-treated CNTs. The obtained water self-dispersible, stable, and biocompatible f-CNT/PP-g-PEG conjugates were then bioconjugated to estrogen-specific antibody (anti-ER) via -COOH functionalities present on the side-walls of CNTs. The resulting conjugates were used as an efficient fluorescent probe for targeted imaging of estrogen receptor overexpressed cancer cells, such as MCF-7. In vitro studies and fluorescence microscopy data show that these conjugates can specifically bind to MCF-7 cells with high efficiency. The represented results imply that CNT-based materials could easily be fabricated by the described approach and used as an efficient "fluorescent probe" for targeting and imaging, thereby providing many new possibilities for various applications in biomedical sensing and diagnosis.